Philly... here we come!
Run Differential of +2... and we're headed to the NLCS for the first time since 2002. In case you were living under a rock at that time... we went to the World Series that year.
This year I'm thinking the road to the world series is a little tougher. The Giants' main advantage going into Atlanta was our vaunted starting pitchers. Not to say that Lowe, Hanson and Hudson were pushovers, but the Big Three in Philladelphia of Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt and Cole Hammels, is one of the best 1-2-3 combos left in the playoffs.
At this point we don't know whether Bochy or Charlie Manuel have decided on starting rotations, but if both go with a traditional 4 man rotation for the 7 game series I've decided to see how the Giants stack up rotation wise against the Phillies.
Tim Lincecum vs. Roy Halladay
Doc Halladay last threw a no-hitter to the dangerous Reds lineup in his postseason debut, Timmy did his best to match, throwing a 2-hit complete game shutout with 14 punch outs. Both appeared masterful in their postseason coming out parties and will no doubt put their best foot forward for this very much anticipated game 1.
Some good news is that Doc had probably his worst game this season against the Giants. Early in the season when he had started 4-0, he gave up 10 hits and 5 runs over 7 innings of work to lose that game 5-1. The winning pitcher in that matchup was our very own Jonathan Sanchez.
I think the Giants can recreate that sort of success, and they've always had Halladay's number. I think its time the Giants give him a ring.
Matt Cain vs. Roy Oswalt
Roy didn't do too hot against the Reds, struggling in his playoff debut with the Phillies, but I in no way want to take the 2nd Roy lightly. That in mind, the Giants have moderate success over Oswalt, with the lineup hitting a combined .263 BA against him. Freddy Sanchez has had the most history with Oswalt with 36 total at bats against him and 11 hits for a .306 batting average. Also good is Juan Uribe who is 6 for 16 against Oswalt with a home run.
Matty did great as did the other starters for the Giants, but was stuck with a no decision thanks to a self-destruction of the bullpen in the 8th inning of game 2 (of which I was a witness). Phillies hitters are very successful against Cain, hitting .299. Chase Utely is 7 for 15 against cain with 3 homers, and Jimmy Rollins is 6 for 10 with 3 triples.
Jonathan Sanchez vs. Cole Hammels
Jonathan Sanchez surprisingly is 2-0 against the Phillies this season and when you look at his career numbers against the Phils, its not that surprising at all. The Phillies have hit only .157 against Sanchez with the only player somewhat successful being Shane Victorino who is 6 for 15.
The Giants on the other hand are hitting .268 against Cole Hammels in his career with some moderate success from Cody Ross (9 for 30 and 4 homers) and Freddy Sanchez (5 for 12). Hammels is no longer the young phenom who won MVP for the World Series 2 years ago, but he is still dangerous. I think the Giants can claw some runs against him however, and get the win here.
Laws of the Day
Phillies top 3 starters are only 1-2 against the Giants this year
The season series between the Phillies and Giants is 3-3, each took 2 of 3 at home.